Nancy's Notes From Florida

Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

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Posts Tagged ‘Florida mysteries’

Charlaine Harris

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on March 12, 2012

Sleuthfest: Part 5

Charlaine Harris
Charlaine Harris began her keynote speech by giving an entertaining description of her typical day and all the requests she fields. She discussed how her writing schedule has changed and how the publishing industry has altered in the past ten years. It’s a challenge to agents and publishers as contract negotiations have changed forever. The traditional model may be going the way of the dinosaurs. The difference between traditionally published books in the bookstore and self-published e-books is editing. And to conclude, “All books benefit from editing.”

Charlaine Harris

Indie editors are on the rise. Some are professional; others take advantage of newbie authors. So while e-books are here to stay, they bring along a lot of baggage. Regarding TV/film sales: Be prepared to concede certain rights or walk away from the deal. Charlaine says that when people meet an author, right away they demand to know if you’ve sold to TV or the movies. Writers are in the entertainment industry. We want to deliver our books to readers anyway we can, even if it’s an e-book carried in your purse. Her advice to aspiring authors: “Read, read, read. Put your butt in the chair and write.”

Nancy and Charlaine

Nancy Cohen and Charlaine Harris


Does Your Muse Need A Makeover?
Lisa Unger, Peter Abrahams, and Julie Kramer, with Elaine Viets moderating.


Lisa began by stating how her first publisher turned down her option book, but she was lucky that another publishing house picked it up. Peter reinvented himself as a YA author. And then he wrote a first-person story from a dog’s viewpoint. His agent suggested he take on a pen name when he started writing with broader humor within the crime fiction genre. Julie’s work got darker over time. She’d already been orphaned by her first publisher. Afraid her current publisher was about to cancel the series, she killed off a significant character. It shook the series up. Peter advises authors to “Have the story come out of you rather than following the latest trend. Find that unique part of you and blow it up.” Lisa says, “Have respect for your own voice.” And Julie wished that she’d changed from journalism to writing fiction a lot sooner.

Stretching Credibility
Marcia Talley, Mary Ann Evans, Nancy Cohen, Julie Kramer, moderated by Bob Williamson

We discussed how we keep our characters real in the midst of absurdity, like dead bodies popping up everywhere in amateur sleuth stories. We talked about the daily news as a source of tales stranger than fiction, and how we might use humor to involve our sleuth in “over the top” situations or as a behavior to mask uncertainty. Grounding the stories are the sleuth’s personal relationships.

Saturday evening, we enjoyed the Sleuthfest cocktail party with appetizing hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. This gave attendees the opportunity to mingle with editors and agents in a social setting. Following was bestselling author Heather Graham’s dinner party at Disney’s House of Blues. The food was amazing and the entertainment—with Heather as vocalist and MWA members in the band—was lively. People danced and chatted and it was great fun. Many thanks to Heather for her generosity in sponsoring this event!

Michael Meeske, Kathleen Pickering, Nancy Cohen, Traci Hall

You can view my Sleuthfest 2012 Photo Album on my Facebook Author Page. Please “Like” the page while you’re there!

Sunday morning wrap sessions and a discussion with the keynote speakers ended the conference, but I skipped out to go to the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City.

Coming Tuesday: Guest Blogger and Mystery Author Camille Minichino

Posted in Business of Writing, Conferences | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Kirkus Review of Shear Murder

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on February 3, 2012

SHEAR MURDER by Nancy J. Cohen

Finding the bride’s sister’s corpse under the dessert table can ruin most of your day, as hairstylist Marla Shore (Killer Knots, 2007, etc.) discovers at her friend Jill’s wedding.

With her own special day a scant two weeks off, Marla plays close attention to the Barlow-Hartman nuptials. And at first things look perfect. Jill Barlow has even converted to Judaism so she and Arnie can include the traditional Seven Blessings in their service under a gorgeous, flower-bedecked chuppah. Jill’s sister Torrie, a fashion reporter from Boca Style Magazine, has talked philanthropist Falcon Oakwood into allowing the wedding to take place on the opening day of his Orchid Isle nature preserve, so Boca Style photographer Griff Beasley is on hand to take lots of fabulous pictures. Florist Phillip Canfield has outdone himself in supplying cascades of rare blooms. Of course, Jill’s quarrel with Torrie over what to do with the parcel of land they co-own, managed by their realtor cousin Kevin, doesn’t bode well. But the real downer is Marla’s discovery of Torrie’s body tucked under the table just before Jill and Arnie cut the wedding cake. Marla is so bummed out that she can hardly make tender love to her sexy fiancé, Dalton Vail, that evening. Instead of writing out place cards, she spends the time before she ties the knot asking pointed questions of anyone she thinks may be responsible for Torrie’s demise, until of course someone decides to shut her up—unfortunately, not soon enough.

Cohen takes the amateur-sleuth-who-asks-too-many-nosy-questions formula to new depths. It’s enough to make your hair curl.

Kirkus Reviews


Pub Date: Jan. 18th, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4328-2554-6

Page count: 246pp

Publisher: Five Star

Review Posted Online: Dec. 4th, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2011

http://search.comcast.net/?cat=web&con=homepage&q=Shear+Murder

**Don’t forget to follow my blog tour and leave a comment for a chance to win free signed books! Coming next:

Saturday, February 4, Poe’s Deadly Daughters, Topic: Florida as Character

Sunday, February 5, Cozy Chicks, Topic: Love and Murder

Thursday, February 9, The Stiletto Gang, Topic: Why I Like Cozies

Thursday, February 16, Patricia Stoltey, Topic: Obsessions and Orchids

Tuesday, February 28, Killer Characters, Topic: Hair Care Q&A with Marla Shore

 

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Show Me the Body

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on August 3, 2011

Check out my blog post at The Kill Zone today for the answer to this burning question: How soon should the body show up in a mystery?

Posted in Writing Craft | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Author Events

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on February 3, 2011

Join multi-published author Nancy J. Cohen for a discussion and signing of her latest books.

February 5, Saturday, 1:00pm – 3:00pm, Discussion & Signing with Florida Romance Writers, NW Regional Branch Library, 3151 North University Drive, Coral Springs, FL 33065. 954-341-3900. Win prizes and enjoy refreshments with nine published authors.

February 12, Saturday, 1:00pm – 3:00pm, Panel and Signing with Florida Romance Writers, Glades Road Branch Library, 20701 95th Avenue South, Boca Raton, FL, 561-482-4554. Win prizes and enjoy refreshments with eighteen published romance authors. http://bit.ly/gLHghr

February 26, Saturday, 10:00am – 2:00pm, “Blending Mystery and Romance”, SpacecoasT Authors of Romance, The Pizza Gallery in the Avenues of Viera, 2250 Town Center Avenue, Melbourne, FL 32940. http://www.authorsofromance.com/

March 5, Saturday, 2:30pm – 3:20pm, “Keeping It Real”, SleuthFest, Hilton Deerfield Beach, 100 Fairway Drive, Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441 http://www.mwaflorida.org/sleuthfest.htm

March 12, Saturday, 11:00am, Friends of Helen B. Hoffman Library Book & Author Luncheon, Jacaranda Country Club, 9200 West Broward Blvd, Plantation, FL 33324. Mystery Authors Nancy J. Cohen and Deborah Sharp will discuss and sign their books. Cost is $35 for luncheon and talk. For Reservations and more info, contact Judi Holland at judi.holland@yahoo.com or 954-370-5178. http://www.plantation.org/Library/index.html

March 16, Wednesday, 6:30 pm – 8:00pm, “Writing the Whodunit”, Bienes Museum Conference Room, Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, 954-357-7444. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by The Writers’ Network of South Florida.  RSVP to Tina Koenig, writersnetworksofla@gmail.com

April 9-10, Naples Press Club 9th Annual Writers’ Conference, FGCU Renaissance Academy,
1010 5th Ave S # 100, Naples, FL 34102. Register now: http://authorsandbooksfestival.org/

April 9, Saturday, 11:30 am – 1:50 pm, Celebrity Luncheon with Nancy J. Cohen   

April 10, Sunday, 9:30 am – 10:20 am, “Writing Fiction for Fun and Profit”       http://authorsandbooksfestival.org/

Posted in Business of Writing, The Writing Life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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